The the lightly washed silvery-grey background offsets the ‘chromatic fireworks’ of the flowers gathered in the bouquet. This was painted in the midst of the first World War when Matisse, who was too old to serve, retreated to the French countryside. One could read the contrast between the ground and blooms could be interpreted as the manifestation of the artist’s worldview at this particular moment. For Matisse this was a moment of introspection and artistic development as he experimented with the simplification of forms and use of bold, unmixed colors.

Original Medium: oil on canvas

Original Size: 54 x 40 1/2 in.

Date: ca. 1916

Location: San Diego Museum of Art